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Failing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis

failing to provide a specimen for analysisFailing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis

 

Kevin Green expressed his joy and relief this week at Wolverhampton Crown Court following his successful appeal against conviction and sentence for Failing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis.

 

Kevin had also been charged with Driving Without Due Care and Attention – which he admitted and pleaded guilty to. This charge was brought as a result of his driving falling below the standard expected of a competent motorist on the date in question. Kevin made no excuses for his behaviour in this regard, admitting to his case worker that he had been driving too fast, and changing lanes erratically, as he rushed to get home after a night out. Kevin received credit for entering an early guilty plea to this charge.

 

However, he denied the second charge of Failing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis and made his case worker aware of the full circumstances relating to his attempts to comply with the police’s requests for samples they could then analyse to check if he was over the legal alcohol limit when driving.

 

Kevin, who has lived with asthma since childhood, made the police aware that he had asthma and that he had recently been suffering from a chest infection. He was nevertheless asked to try and give the two evidential breath samples, but was unable to give the sustained breath required for the intoxyliser (breath test) machine.

 

The police then asked Kevin if he would give a blood or urine sample. He agreed to do so.

 

A medic was summoned and some time was spent trying to extract a blood sample. Kevin complied with the procedure fully. A strap was tied around his arm, he was asked to make a fist, the veins in both arms were tapped and yet no blood could be taken. The medic told Kevin that his veins were ‘too deep’. Kevin told us he had never had any issue giving blood in the past, but that the medic seemed nervous and was actually shaking at one point.

 

Kevin was then asked to give a urine sample. Again, he complied with the request. The first sample was disposed of and he was given an hour to give a further sample. Kevin tried, but could not produce any more urine. He explained to the police that his work meant he had trained his bladder and could go for many hours without feeling the need to urinate. The time allowed ran out and, although Kevin had tried several times to give a further sample, he was not able to do so.

 

Kevin was duly charged with Failing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis.

 

We advised Kevin to plead not guilty to this charge, as he clearly had valid reasons for not being able to comply with the requests. He had not refused to provide specimens and had indeed tried his best to do so.

 

However, Kevin was found guilty at trial and sentencing accordingly. His sentence included a disqualification from driving.

 

We advised Kevin that we did not agree with the magistrates’ court’s decision and that he should lodge an appeal. This would mean the case would be reconsidered, but this time by the Crown Court.

 

Kevin took our advice on board and instructed us to prepare his appeal.

 

Kevin’s conviction was quashed by the Crown Court, and when the court’s decision was announced, we were delighted as we felt that – finally – justice had been done. Kevin had been honest with us from the start. He admitted he was not blameless on the date in question and this is why he pleaded guilty to the charge he felt responsible for. However he could not, with a clear conscience, plead guilty to something he had not done. Neither would we ever advise any of our clients to do so.

 

As a result of Kevin’s successful appeal, his sentence was quashed, which means he is able to drive again. He is also to make a claim for a partial refund of his legal fees, which we will assist him with.

 

As Kevin’s case illustrates, you should never plead guilty to something you did not do, or do not feel responsible for. However, a fight for justice often necessitates a strong legal team who have the expertise to ensure that the very best possible outcome is achieved.

 

If you intend to plead not guilty to a charge, or have a case listed for trial, call us on 01623 600645 today for free initial advice. 

 

Drink Driving: I Can’t Remember What Happened!

Helen Newman of Forrest Williams

Helen Newman of Forrest Williams

 

Drink Driving: I Can’t Remember What Happened! 

 

We were recently contacted by a lady who appeared to have been drink driving; a respectable, responsible member of the community, well known and well liked, a wife, mother, and a professional educated woman.  And she had no memory of the period before her arrest.

 

She had attended her works Christmas party, arriving late because she was waiting for her husband to return home to take over child care duty. She drove to the venue due to the lateness of the hour however with no intention of driving home – she knew there was a secure car park at the venue and had already made arrangements to collect her car the following day. She wasn’t sure exactly what time the festivities would end so had not pre-booked a taxi but had every intention of getting one home.

 

She had no idea what changed and when.

 

To the best of her knowledge she had 3 glasses of wine, one she purchased herself, and two that were purchased for her.

 

According to the police report she was found several miles from home, in the wrong direction had she been travelling home, driving her car. The police had received a report from a member of the public regarding a vehicle driving erratically, they observed the vehicle swerving from side to side, stalling, rolling backwards down a hill – all suggesting a serious level of impairment.

 

She was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. She does not remember any of this.

 

Her last memory was of going to wait in her car for the taxi, her next memory was of being at the station, leaving a blank of potentially a couple of hours. She was covered in bruises and very disorientated and distressed.

 

She did not comply with the officer’s requests that she provide them with a breath specimen – she just didn’t understand what was happening at that point, why she was there or how she was there. She was very clear to me that had she understood she would have provided a sample, she did offer the police later once she was less agitated and understood what was happening, it was just too late.

 

She was charged with Failure to Provide a Specimen for Analysis, an offence which carries a disqualification of between 12-36 months along with penalties ranging from a fine to community service or even custody. And as she had failed to provide with evidence of serious impairment she would be towards the top level of punishment – so custody could be considered by the court, though as a first offence a suspended sentence could be an option.

 

Our client had two options. She could plead Guilty to the offence as technically she had refused to provide a sample, or she could plead Not Guilty and fight.

 

Our client advised us that as a community based nurse she needed her licence to get from patient to patient; that as a mother to a daughter with additional needs she needed her licence to attend weekly appointments and to transport her child in a ‘safe’ environment as public transport was extremely distressing with the unfamiliar noises and smells. All in all, she needed to try to save her licence.

 

She was very clear to us that she had only had 3 drinks and that there was no way 3 small glasses of wine should have had such a severe impact on her ability to function or remember the evening. She was certain that someone must have laced her drinks with some sort of drug, it could be the only explanation. Involuntary intoxication could be a defence, at the very least it would go a long way to explaining her actions at the station if needed in mitigation to the courts.

 

She pleaded Not Guilty and her case has now been adjourned to trial.

 

If you are charged with an offence then give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 600645. We know that there are always two sides to every story and we will make sure the courts hear yours.

 

 

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Failure To Provide A Specimen on Medical Grounds

A delighted client is celebrating after being found not guilty of Failing to Provide a Specimen of Breath for analysis due to medical grounds.

 

Mr Singh, who appeared for trial in March at Nottingham Magistrates Court, argued that he was unable to provide the specimen required of him due to complications associated with his diabetes.  Full prosecution disclosure and CCTV was obtained by Forrest Williams, all of which displayed Mr Singh to be uncooperative, abusive and behaving entirely out of character.

 

While Mr Singh was advised of the difficulties of his case, Forrest Williams thoroughly prepared his defence and assigned a senior barrister to his trial.

 

Mr Singh gave evidence and was cross-examined, and his evidence together with medical evidence and other supporting evidence obtained by Forrest Williams portrayed a very clear case of a man unable to comply with instructions due to a spell of Diabetic complications.

 

Mr Singh was found not guilty and his file will be assessed in order that he can receive a refund of legal fees from the Court.

 

Mr Singh was ecstatic and thoroughly grateful for all of the help he received from Forrest Williams.

 

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